Sunday, January 29, 2012

History of Rolex's Flag Ship: Date Day

The Rolex Day Date across the world has become synonymous with class, taste and style. This watch remains one of the most prestigious additions a man can have to his wardrobe.

The Birth of Date Day
The 6511 the "Day Date" had a window at 12 spelling out the day at 12 and the date was shown at 3. Patented July 23. 1955 - officially Released in 1956 after Rolex had been enjoying quite a barren spell in the sale of its complicated timepieces it soon began to revive fortune..

President Bracelet
An additional day and date discs and a screw down back it was a very large and thick watch which gave it presence on the wrist. Due to the complexity of the watch, with its automatic movement,. Introduced as a niche model it soon gained the popularity it deserved and after the introduction of the concealed clasp (concealed clasp was offer as $75 option in 1969) it was known as the "President".

Flag Ship Model
The Day Date became Rolex's flagship. The first model (6511) lasted just over a year before it was replaced by the externally identical 6611 with caliber 1055 movement with its free sprung Micro-Stella balance and was the first to be labeled "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" on the dial. This new accuracy standard guaranteed the watch to remain within + 3.0 seconds per day.
Date Day Caliber
In 1959 caliber 1055 was replaced with caliber 1555 in model 1803 (18,000bph) and later In 1965 - model 1803 received caliber 1556 (19,800bph).
In 1977 caliber 3055 (quick-set) was introduced in model 18038.
In 1988 caliber 3155 (double quick-set) was introduced in model 18238.
Caliber 3155 is the caliber still used today in all Day-Date models.

President Watch
The Day Date earned the nickname the "President" when Rolex reportedly gave one to the then President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower. Some sources say that President Eisenhower was actually given a Date Just with the presidential bracelet. But it is a fact that several other US presidents are known to wear Day-Date (Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, but seems Clinton, Bush and Obama does not wear Rolex Date Day, that may indicate that the recent US President has lost their glory on the wrist than in the past! (Clinton had a Roger Dubuis Muchmore, George Bush Worn a Cheap Electronics Digital watch and Obama has a few including a Tag Huer.)

Shape of the Date Day
These early models appeared rather bulky. In their never ending quest to modernize the basic configuration of the Day Date, Rolex have changed from the bulbous bubbleback look of the early models to the slender shape employed today.
With only a few mild case design changes over the year the first modification to the Day Date was the addition of the hack feature in about 1972. This allowed the second hand to be stopped dead if you wanted to set the time via a preset accurate source.

Material for Date Day
The Day Date was available in white gold, yellow gold, pink gold and platinum although in early 70's the pink gold watch was fazed out. If you had a Date Day in stainless steel, that is a prototype and that can be a great treasure in Auction.

Quick Set
The "Quick set" feature (caliber 3055) solved one of the watches biggest problems. Introduced in the late 1970's Quick set was introduced to all Rolex models by 1983. Instead of turning the crown round and round to change the day the wearer could just pull the button out half way and a few turns at most and the correct date was displayed.

Sapphire Crystal
The introduction of the quick set feature also coincided with other developments for the Day Date. The inclusion of the sapphire crystal not only gave the watch a sleeker look but also added to the durability of the watch. Introduced in 1977, the sapphire crystal fitted tighter than the plastic glass employed before and rendered the watch glass scratch proof near enough. The early Day Date models were waterproof to 165 feet (50 meters) while the current model is safe at depths of up to 100 meters. At the same time the current model is much slimmer.

Double Quick Set
Introduced in 1988/89 was the "Double Quick Set" watch with caliber 3155. This was model 18238 and it made the setting of the Day and Date even easier as they could both be done on the button. Rolex has also increasingly expanded their "Crown Collection" to include all types of precious stones by now although they were available with diamonds on the bezel from their introduction.

Pink Gold Date Day
From the end of 2000 the Day Date has been available in pink gold again. The watch has also been introduced with slightly redesigned case with polished lugs, smooth bezel is now domed, a domed sapphire crystal, solid center links on now heavier bracelet and can also come on an oyster bracelet to bring it in line with many of their other models.
Sham Shui Po Snob

Friday, January 27, 2012

2012, Audemars Piguet Celebrates Royal Oak's 40th Anniversary

It has been 40 yeas after the likely one of most beautiful watch designs was invented by Gerald Genta in 1972, with continuously applause of such beautiful Watch by watch lovers all over the World, a new Memorial Royal Oak design is created in 2012.
Since the timeless 2121 movement was introduced in its Royal Oak case in 1972, with movement thickness of 3.05mm, one of the World’s thinnest mechanical Automatic movement, it provides the Hour, Minutes and Second, Date Display function. In 2012, AP introduces a new Tourbillon ultra thin Skeleton masterpiece. The movement is still assembled with meticulous procedure as AP did 40 years ago. The Skeleton Watch case installed the State-of-The-Art tourbillon module, recalled the World First Tourbillon Automatic AP which shocked the World in 1986.
The new movement is Cal. 2924 is new with tourbillon assembly placed in a yet delicate but super tough Platinum dark grey case of 41mm with mere 4.46mm thick. The Power drum is Yellow gold which has a drastic Colour contrast with the case. Highly appreciatible! The Time display is on the front and Power reserve indicator on the back is the design layout.
Frequency is 21,600 CPS (3 Hertz) with power reserve up to 70 hours. Whole watch has 110 parts that are required hand polish, individual numbered for a limited 40 pieces only.
Price, yet to be advised.

I had the first AP Royal Oak Jumbo and that was numbered as XX…Today, this is only 40 Pieces, Who is the lucky one who can afford to own One. I would not hesitate to buy one if I could have that kind of money. Men’s dream and AP Royal Oak, Watch Lovers' dream.
Besides, AP made a decision to enlarge the Royal Oak from a base line of 39mm to 41mm, to meet the trend of "tend to be Larger” So there will be more prominent outlook with the new 41mm size of a Royal Oak you buy in 2012. Definitely it can catch more admirers from distant faraway opposite the Nathan Road.
Nathan Road Snob

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hamilton Khaki Flight Timer

Hamilton is an American Brand since 1892. I used to have few Hamilton Solid Gold Watches made in the 40'. Those watches were purely mechanical watches.
This Khaki Flight timers is a high function pilot watch embedded with Swiss ETA Quartz movement. New from Hamilton, result of collaboration with the Air Zermatt helicopter rescue team in Switzerland. You can see the Air Zermatt logo engraved on the caseback.
The dial is broken up into a few negative LCD screen sections and the case has a crown along with three pushers. You can still read the time easily enough, and I like the large applied metal minute/hour markers. You'll of course see that the dial is an available in a silver or anthracite tone. Skeletonized hands make it possible to see the screens below them without too much interference.
Functions include Two digital timezones, UTC time, Alarm, Chronograph, Countdown, Flight time recorder, ISA temperature display. Perpetual Calendar. Perpetual Calendar is what the Tissot Touch does not have, Tissot has the unique winning touch feature, but there is no 24 hours, no date. A deduction of a watch feature in terms of versatility.
One of the price features is log data for recording details of up to 20 flights and a total of 99 landings. It has a rotating timing bezel on the case.
The steel case is 40mm wide, water resistant to 100 meters and has a sapphire crystal.. This is a function-oriented watch and I like that Hamilton is still keen on making a lot of these pieces.
Die hard mechanical watch lovers still prefer not to use Electronics Quartz watch in professional applications. However, some of the features and functions are only achievable by means of Electronics Quartz watch module. Unless in utmost low temperature.
Hamilton will offer the Khaki Flight Timer with at least two dial options and on a rubber or leather strap. I like the Orange Strap. There is also a metal bracelet option. Prices for the leather/rubber strap models is $1,445 for just a bit more you can get the metal bracelet model for $1,495.
So if you are a Pilot, other than the Rolex GMT Master II, $ 7,800. Breitling professional Co-pilot 143A $2,475. This Hamilton is your choice too!

HK Snob

Glashjutte Original of the 60's

In the name Glashütte Original lies the history and unique heritage of a small town
in South Eastern part of Germany In the neighbors hood of Czech Republic, a small Silver, Copper and lead, iron ore mining buried in the mountains of the Erzgebirge started from 165 years ago.
In the early part of the 19th century, the citizens of Glashütte began to look for alternatives. Saxon Court, Dresden had long nourished the nascent art
and science of keeping time with the aid of clocks and pocket watches. Dresden was the splendid city on the Elbe once known as the Florence of the North.
At the same time, the excitement of the industrial revolution had captured
the imagination of adventurous thinkers and entrepreneurs all over Europe,
and Saxony was no exception.
It was this spirit of adventurous enterprise that slowly transformed Glashütte
from a remote village in the mountains into the world-class centre of handcrafted
watches that it remains today. But don’t forget it was the Eastern Germany after the WWII, and then at that period of 1945-1990, there were not to much Fancy technology in the watch marking, but to make simple, durable low cost Watches for the People of the Eastern Germany, So these are the two pieces that I bought in 1995 in a Small town of Germany,
Note that the Movement is simple, quite sturdy and there even not have any date, size was small as that was the right size in the 70. I believe the lady one was in the year is 1968-1972, and the men’s one is an automatic with 23 Rubies that goes to 1960-1968.
They were lying down in the drawing over 15 years until today I checked for some of the straps and revealed these two watches,… These are not expensive watches, but a good example to show the life style of Eastern Germany whereby they had not too much resources to make beautiful watches as the Swiss did. But these metal watches demonstrate what a watch needs is time keeping, on top of it, accuracy and reliability is important.

HK Snob

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Deep Blue BlueTech AB YSS500 Diver's Watch

This new Deep blue BlueTech AB YSS500 comes with four dial colour. Blue, Black, Orange and Yellow with limited 500 pieces each Colour.
The Blue one is my favourite, next is Orange or Yellow. It measures 46.5mmx18mm and a lug width of 26mm, big enough for a six feet man.
Water Resistance up to 5mm meters. Movement is Swiss ETA 2824-2 with 25 jewels and a custom Deep Blue Rotor. USD$999.00!
I love to get one not just because of the dial is a dynamic look appearance, but a big and Sharp blue Dial!

HK Snob

US Marine Prototype Rolex Submariner

Rolex Produced some of the rarest prototype Submariner for US Marine in 1982.
However due to whatever reason that it never turned into mass production.

It features a rather unique of locking its bi-directional timing bezel, The large detachable lug hoods lift up to allow manipulation of the bezel, lower it down to secure lock.
It has a new look as the traditional Submariner design as it extend the watch it out down from the middle of the case to meet the bracelet. It is 44mm with a lug to measurement of 58mm. The example featured here was sold at auction by Antiquorum in 2004 for USD$ 72,000! I think the current price may be already go double to USD$150,000! if your wrist is small , this may not be too fit for it.HK Snob

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Fake Rolex Submariner

This is a Rolex Submariner my friend showed me yesterday, of course I did not say anything as he said he bought it recently, He asked me how is it. I said quite beautiful.
But actually I told myself this is a Fake Rolex!
First of all, this model is White gold, and his one is steel,
The weight is not as heavy as the original one.
The finishing of the body is quite rough, It does not carry that kind of elegant gloss of the Rolex. The printing on dial is rough, the Rim is not smooth, laser Marked Rolex Logo is not clear enough.

Tsim Sha Tsui Snob

Swatch new look 2012

Swatch is using plastic as the component in the movement, though Plastic is not the first time to be used for component in a watch. Tissot low cost Auto Watch used a lot of plastic gear. The light weight component has an advantage of longer serviceability. Swatch uses colourful part inside the watch. It creates colourful rainbow like movement, this example is one of the most beautiful Combination. Thin, Colour, Watch proof, acccurate, light and comfortable to wear. This is Swatch!

Picture taken by Nokia Mini 97 at Tsuen Wan MTR station.

Tsuen Wan Snob

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Can you Check your Rolex Time Keeping Accuracy when you purchase?

This is a question that most of the non-jeweler Rolex AD can offer, and most of the people do not know that there is the right for them to SELECT a better Rolex when you buy new from Rolex AD.
Well, most of the WATCH dealer like Zurich, Oriental, Wah Hing can have this service. Do to forget that you are spending some money that is good for buying a used BMW, this is your customer right to ask for the Shop to provide you a Health Check on your Rolex.
As you know you Rolex is a Certificated Swiss Chronometers, that can guarantee some kind of time accuracy per day.
Usually I will buy a Rolex with +2 second per day base on a temperature of 25 deg C,
And some time you can get one like +5 seconds a day, it is still within the specification of qualify the watch to be a Chronometer.
The reason why we have to buy a watch faster a few seconds is that after a few years say three, the lubrication oil inside the jewel bearing and the minor wear and tear inside of movement will gradually add on some friction that would slow down the watch.
So when you use your Rolex it may be becoming slow after 4 year, then it is time for you to send it to Rolex Service Centre for a cleaning..
Actually the period of time for Overhauling or cleaning depending on how you use the watch, and some of my Rolex has been using for 10 years still working in perfect time keeping.
So next time when you go to buy your Rolex, ask for the time check service, of course it is Free!
HK Snob

What Rolex I should buy as an Investment item?!

If you ask me what is the best Investment Rolex we should buy now. From what I have learnt from these 30 years playing Rolex, I have firm answer is Daytona if you ask me what is the best investment Rolex as generally.
Thought its entry price is the high for Average Rolex Selling price. But that is not the most expensive series of Rolex.
Many people ask what is the best first Rolex he should consider, it is also having no definitely reply as all depends on what you wants.
For fun, What He-has-that-I-should-Have!? For Investment!? Just For use!? For Stylish fashion watch!? For his Function? Just because of Rolex?
If you are professional diver, golfer, mountaineer, I am sure that you may consider the Submariner or Explorer II. If you want to buy one just for going work, likely a Rolex Turn-O-graph is best, as most of the people would likely choose Date Just as it is so far the most popular model from Rolex, accounts for 60% of the total Sales.
If you area student, OL, I believe I would like to go for Submariner or Explorer II
Women would like to go for Explorer.
If you are borne with Silver sterling 925 spoon, well, it is out of the question, you can buy all available Rolex models and change every day, we need not to be discussed here.
If you are the CEO, CFO, COO I think a Rolex Daytona, or Day Date would be one of the choice.
So How about Daytona? well, it is hard to say as for pure function consideration, that is not too persuasive as it has no date, you know some time a frequent traveling , when you wake up in the Hotel have your experience that “ hey, what is the Day to day? That is one of the reason why I choose Day Date, or a perpetual calendar when I travelling. As it never fails to provide me the most importunate data in the morning, time for next meeting, Today is what Date!?
If you are an collector, or investor, well, that is not q question, you may go for Daytona as it is really the Icon of Rolex, the most complicated watch from Rolex, Sorry please do not compare with the triple or Grand complication watch from VC, PP or AP. That is different animals.
As from most of the previous Auctions, Daytona and Comex Submariner seems never turn out to be the Dutch Auction. So if I were asked what is the best Rolex Investment item, that is Daytona!
As what the Rolex Bible said, "Rolex Daytona" means a lot of things: it is the most desirable chronograph, it is a tool to measure time, it is a fashion object, it is a collector's dream and it is a safe investment!
There are many Daytona models whose value increases year after year. Here you can see some examples:
-Daytona Ref. 16520 in stainless steel
CATALOGUE PRICE: In1994: € 3.047,10
CURRENT VALUE: € 10.000/12.000
-Daytona Ref. 16520 in stainless steel, black dial turning into brown
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1994: € 3.047,10
CURRENT VALUE: € 18.000/22.000
-Daytona Ref. 6239 in stainless steel
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1966/67: € 64,04
CURRENT VALUE: € 22.000/24.000
-Daytona Ref. 6239 in stainless steel with Paul Newman dial
CATALOGUE PRICE:In 1969/70: € 67,14
CURRENT VALUE: € 65.000/70.000
-Daytona Ref. 6239 in gold 18k
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1966/67: € 163,71
CURRENT VALUE: € 60.000/65.000
-Daytona Ref. 6239 in gold 18k with Paul Newman dial
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1969/70: € 163,71
CURRENT VALUE: € 100.000/110.000
-Daytona Ref. 6241 in stainless steel
CATALOGUE PRICE In 1966/67: € 64,04
CURRENT VALUE: € 24.000/26.000
Daytona Ref. 6241 in gold 18k
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1966/67: € 163,71
-CURRENT VALUE: € 70.000/75.0000
Daytona Ref. 6241 in stainless steel with Paul Newman dial
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1969/70: € 67,14
CURRENT VALUE: € 65.000/70.000
-Daytona Ref. 6241 in gold 18k with Paul Newman dial
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1969/70: € 163,71
CURRENT VALUE: € 100.000/110.000
-Daytona Ref. 6263 in stainless steel
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1971/72: € 78,50
CURRENT VALUE: € 25.000/27.000
-Daytona Ref. 6265 in stainless steel
CATALOGUE PRICE: In 1971/72: € 78,50
CURRENT VALUE: € 25.000/27.000
-Daytona Ref. 6265 in gold 18k
CATALOGUE PRICE: Ini 1971/72: € 241,19
CURRENT VALUE: € 55.000/60.000
Furthermore, if the color of a Daytona's dial turn into another color, the watch will be even more valuable.
An example: the reference 6263 in stainless steel with Paul Newman dial is worth around € 70'000; but the same watch with the dial turning into brown, was sold by Sothebys on 2011, November 14th for CHF 464’500.
Reference: Rolex Daytona Story: the new book of Guido Mondani Editore.
Recommend to go for this Book as it contains numerous stories and picture of Daytona.
Image appears courtesy of Jake's Rolex blog
HK Snob

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This is just a watch electronic movement with Date Day, time., quite a Functionable watch, with a sharp Diamond Like Bezel, strap that was made to look like mother of pearl.

Super light weight for young women. I bought it brand new at one shop at the junction between TST MTR Exit and I-square. The Sales Ken had a nice chat with me, he is a serious WATCH collctor for Omega, he is collection Omega Schummerger: he has Blue, Yellow, Red...etc

Price of Fossil was HKD$1,000, less 15%. Great deal for my little Daughter for going School.

Tsim Sha Tsui Snob

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rolex Ref 216570 Explorer II Orange Pointer on Sales at Wah Hing Mongkok

We found that Mong Kong Wah Hing has stock for Selling the Famous new Ref 216570 Black and White Dial. at price of HKD$60,500
Interested parties, RolexFans should not miss it.
Address Mong Kok Too Tak Mansion, 646, Nathan Road, exit at Mong Kok MTR Bank Centre walking towards North for 20 meters approx.
Mong Kok Snob
PS Photo was taken with an iPhone4s by KF.